25th Mar2013

‘Mini Ninjas’ Review (iOS)

by Phil Wheat

Hell Yeah Pocket Inferno

Manufacturer: Square Enix
Specs: Requires iOS 4.3 or later (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad).
RRP: 69p
Rating: 3/5

Four years after making their debut on home consoles, the Mini Ninjas come to iOS in a fast-paced, beautifully styled adventure which, whilst updating the gameplay for mobile, stays faithful to original storyline and is just as addictive and just as kid-friendly.

In this new game you play as Hiro as he runs, jumps and slashes his way through the ancient lands in yet another endless runner game (the amount of runner games on iOS and Android is also seemingly getting as endless). The aim of the game is to retrieve the stolen artefact from the dragon, collect Kuji Energy to upgrade and unlock new powers, and rescue your fellow ninjas on the way – ninjas who you can then play as using their unique powers to get through the next portion of the level and help defeat the evil samurai warlord’s magical army who, in the essence of a kid-friendly game, have been transformed from animals into evil minions by forbidden magic.

If you’ve played any other endless runner games – Temple Run, Jetpack Joyride et al – you know what to expect from Mini Ninjas. Yes, it is a lot faster paced than many other similar games but it still features the same familiar game play and comes complete with the same “headstarts”, level “warps” and power ups seen in the aforementioned games. In the end there’s nothing really new here, yet at the same time – thanks to the cutesy graphics and great characters – the game still feels remarkably fresh. Plus I have a soft spot for ninjas!

According to the press info, Mini Ninjas apparently features an extensive range of customisation features, achievements and unlockable content available to users in the Dojo, your game hub and you have the ability to craft items using your collectibles, creating new power-ups and equipment. Also available is an array of customisable outfits and potions, to earn and purchase; however – as per a lot of these endless runner games – a lot of upgrades either a) take a ridiculous amount of playtime to earn the upgrades, or b) are only available as massively overpriced micro transactions… So, like many games of this ilk, I didn’t waste any time buying items – oddly, despite Mini Ninjas‘ overall speed, it seems slow and steady is the way (at least when it comes to customisation and upgrading).

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